What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is a catch all, blanket term for targeted, focused, measurable and interactive marketing of various goods and services using cutting edge digital technologies to reach new potential markets and convert these potentials into eventual customers. Like traditional marketing, the focus is to promote brands, build consumer recognition and accrue sales and revenue through digital marketing methods.
What Services Does Digital Marketing Include?
Search Engine Optimisation for the German market (SEO) is at the cutting edge of these techniques. This key tool of digital marketing is the process of improving the visibility and “traffic” (i.e. visitors) to a website by obtaining a top or high ranking placement from search results on search engines such as Google, Bing or Duck Duck Go. The inaugural step of German SEO is on page optimisation. This involves internal factors that impact web page listings in search engine results, including HTML code, meta tags and keyword placement and density of keyword deployment.
Keyword Research is at the very foundation of the aforementioned SEO. Keywords are like a compass for SEO campaigns, they tell the marketer where to go and can ascertain if progress is being made. Selecting the optimum and relevant keywords will help push the site to the top of the search engine results.
Ad Words is a key word oriented advertising service that Google offers to business users. The client only pays Google when people actually click on the actual advert.
Another digital marketing service offered by Google is Google Analytics This service tracks and reports website traffic to the webmaster, offering statistics and trend analyses. This service is offered free by Google.
Email marketing is the process of sending a commercial message to a group of people using email as a communication tool. It is easier to track effectiveness than traditional advertising, but may be considered “spam” i.e. unwanted mail by many users.
In contrast to traditional advertising, the information heavy Content Marketing is focused on generating and propagating relevant and valuable content to acquire and engage with a customer base. It does not seek to use advertising techniques, but is more akin to a technical manual offering specific explanations and definitions.
Unsurprisingly for the most populous nation in the EU, Germany is the world’s fourth largest internet market, comprising almost 14% of total European internet usage and making 4 billion searches every month, which is a telling statistic for any e-business aiming for success in Germany.
Social Media Marketing
A recent growth area of digital marketing has occurred in the expanding field of Social Media Marketing. Social Media Marketing utilises social networks like Face book and Twitter as marketing tools. It aims at increasing brand awareness by posting content that “followers” will “re post” or “re tweet” to their own social network peers, thus increasing the range of exposure.
State of Social Media Marketing in Germany
Although social media continues to grow, there are 2.3 billion active social media users worldwide with 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels, Germany differs slightly. When it comes to social networking sites, Germany seems to lag behind most other countries, according to Pew Research Center.
Over 85% of all German adults are online, but only half of those are on social – far fewer than most other European countries.
Compared with the UK 66%, USA 71% and even Israel 76% this seems to be particularly low but why is this the case? Well according to eMarketer Senior analyst Karin von Abrams, it is the age gap that fuels the social media problem. ” Privacy concerns—and mistrust of global online players such as Facebook and Google—are more widespread there than in Italy, Spain and the UK, for example.
In addition, German cultural norms are fairly conservative in terms of interpersonal relations and revealing personal information; that tendency is reinforced by a population that skews older than much of Western Europe. Language barrier issues and a lack of national personalities embracing social media are also contributing factors on a platform such as Twitter ”
In fact, “While 81% of onliners between the ages of 18 and 34 in Germany are on social networks, only 39% of people over 35 report the same – a difference of 42 percentage points”
What are the Top Social Media Networks in Germany?
Facebook is the most used social network in Germany with 28 million users and 69.35% of the market share from Nov 2016 – Nov 2017.
Pinterest came in second with 15.36% of the share, followed by Tumblr 4.63%, Twitter 3.84%, YouTube 2.34%, Instagram 2.31% and Reddit coming in at 1.14%.
Although some in the industry seem to think that Facebook’s dominance seems to be waning, with younger users flocking to Facebook’s other assets such as Whats’app and Instagram
Instagram, with 9 million active users, seems to be particularly strong in the 14 – 29 year old category but doesn’t seem to be used much with the older demographics.
This is mostly down to lack of brand awareness, 35% of its 14 – 29 year old users are active, while awareness is only at 56% within the same age group.
Twitter has always struggled in Germany, this has mainly been due to Twitter’s restrictive limit of 140 characters per tweet and the average German word length being 11.66 characters which is quite a bit more than the English average of 8.23 characters.
However, as of September 2017, Twitter has doubled it’s character limit from 140 characters to 280, although whether or not it will have an impact on its popularity in Germany remains to be seen.
Though it certainly impressed the German Foreign Office.
Germans are Cautious with Social Media
According to Extra Digital, “A growing trend in Germany is to use fake names or abbreviations instead of their real names.
Another example is a strong hesitation for signing up to or liking social media pages of businesses as German people do not want to give out too much information. This behaviour is making it harder for companies to quickly build large followings like they can in the UK.
Your social campaigns should work to build trust and credibility.”
How to Develop a Web Strategy from Scratch – Blue Wire Media
10 Reasons you need a Digital Marketing Strategy – Smart Insights